Cell phone bill doesn’t go far enough | PostIndependent.com

Cell phone bill doesn’t go far enough

Are teenagers the only ones who seem to lose all ability to navigate a vehicle while talking on the phone?

Not by a long shot.

Anyone who has a regular commute has spent time behind a car straddling the white-striped line only to find ” when the short window between drifts presents itself to pass ” that it isn’t someone who just spent time at the local watering hole.

The driver is simply engaged in an activity more important than operating a mass of steel hurtling down the highway at 60 mph.

While this cell phone affliction doesn’t discriminate by age, it’s the teenagers who may take the first hit, in large part due to a spate of well-publicized accidents involving young drivers.

A state House committee unanimously endorsed a bill (HB 1173) sponsored by Rep. Michael Garcia, D-Aurora, making it a finable offense for drivers with six-month learner’s permits to talk on the cell phones while behind the wheel.

It’s the first bill limiting cell phones that has reached the full House for debate.

A nice first step, but it’s a baby step.

“It’s just amazing … to finally get something on the (House) floor that recognizes that cell phones potentially could be a distraction,” said Garcia in an Associated Press story.

But it’s not much more than a “recognition” of the effect cell phones have on drivers. The number of those driving on Colorado’s roads with a learner’s permit is relatively small.

Legislators shelved a stronger bill requiring all drivers to use a hands-free device while driving and talking.

Unfortunately, it will likely take a headline-grabbing tragedy like the one that spurred the bill aimed at teen drivers ” one that can be directly attributed to cell phone use ” before legislators will enact a bill aimed at adult drivers.

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